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Drum Corps

"A drum and bugle corps is a musical marching unit consisting of brass instruments, percussion instruments and color guard. Drum corps are specialized marching bands. Typically operating as independent organizations (no scholastic affiliation), drum corps perform on-field competitions, parades, festivals and other civic functions. The rules of Drum Corps International set the age limit for drum corps participation at 22, with most participants aged 17-21." - Definition courtesy of DCI

Drum Corps members train and compete during the summer months ending with DCI World Finals in August. The members of the Corps will be with each other 24/7, practicing, eating, sleeping, and getting to know one another. The activity is often admired for the unique bonds and friendships its members make with each other. It also provides the opportunity for members to travel the country in an interesting way.  

What is Drum Corps International (DCI)? 

"For nearly a half century, Drum Corps International, Marching Music’s Major League™, has been the leader in producing events for the world’s most elite and exclusive marching ensembles for student musicians and performers." - 

Drum Corps Vs. Marching Band (

Drum corps are a subset of the larger body of marching bands. It is accurate to say that all drum corps are marching bands, but not all marching bands are drum corps. At the macro level, there is little difference between drum corps and marching bands.

So what are the specific differences?

First, drum corps use only brass instrumentation – no woodwinds like saxophones, clarinets and flutes.

Second, most marching bands (in the United States) are affiliated with schools and are usually inclusive – everyone who wants to participate is accommodated. Drum corps are independent organizations (typically not part of a scholastic institution) and have a membership limit set at 150.

Depending on the corps, there may be more potential members than performance spaces available. Hence, drum corps, especially the World Class corps, are exclusive, rather than inclusive.

Third, drum corps are self-financing. They rely on fees from participants, Drum Corps International, and traditional development and fundraising activities for their budgets. Scholastic marching bands rely heavily on school budgets (usually public tax revenue) for the bulk of their financial needs.

How You Can Support The Activity


-Get Involved- 

  • Purchase merchandise from teams

  • Donate

  • Volunteer

  • Follow their socials

  • Share, tell your friends about the activity

-Audition and March-

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